Powell: We are in right place at this stage of season
CHRIS Powell has pointed out to Charlton’s League One promotion rivals they face a tough task trying to peg back his side with time running out.
The Addicks hold a six point gap over second-placed Sheffield United and an eight point lead over Sheffield Wednesday in third.
And although the Valley chief acknowledged he does keep close tabs on how the sides chasing the leaders are getting on, the bottom line is none of them will catch Charlton if the Addicks keep collecting points.
Powell said: "I know exactly what they are up to with their results but it is more important to look at where we are at.
"You have to keep one eye on them, but not only the two Sheffield clubs, Huddersfield, MK Dons and the rest should be watched.
"I think it is only fair to look at all the teams to see their results, but we know as long as we stick to our planning and what we want to do, games will run out sooner rather than later and this is the position we want to be in when they do."
The only side in the top six Charlton have to play is Carlisle, who occupy the final play-off spot, away on April 14.
And although pleased he doesn’t still have to face the main rivals for automatic promotion, the Charlton manager added there are no easy games for his side between now and the end of the season.
Powell explained: "People will say it doesn't matter who you are playing against because all games are tricky, but it is better that you avoid the teams around you as they can close the gap on us.
"Our run is favourable, but that is not to say we are being disrespectful to our opponents.
"Carlisle will be tough, as will Oldham, which is a tough place to go at any stage of the season.
"Walsall at home will not be easy because the expectation is that we should be beating these teams and it can't happen like that because they need the points to stay up.
"I feel on one hand it is easier that we are not playing the teams that are around us but in some ways it can work out a bit harder.
"No matter who we play in League One it is going to be a run in that won't be easy.
“We must keep our energy levels high, manage the nerves and have good patience and composure, whoever we play we must play the game in the right way.”
Charlton were able to maintain their gap at the top of League One after a 2-0 victory at The Valley over rivals Leyton Orient on Saturday.
The win was the second successive home victory and went some way to banishing the disappointment of previous home defeats to Colchester and Notts County.
Powell is hopeful that result can be used as a springboard towards guaranteeing promotion.
He explained: "It is very important to build on the win because of where we are and what the situation is.
"It was a vital game for us last week, for the staff and the players, but more importantly for our supporters.
"They have given us tremendous backing and we have given them, more or less, what they have wanted, but we have to finish the job off now.
"It was imperative to get three points, we needed a good start and despite a slightly nervous second period, a fabulous second goal finished them off.
"London derbies can be tense affairs but I felt we were in control for the majority of the game.
"We now have six points to play for in 48 hours and to get them would be very welcome.”
The league leaders travel to Oldham on Saturday before welcoming a Walsall side hovering just above the relegation zone to The Valley on Easter Monday.
Six points from these two games would push the Addicks even closer to securing automatic promotion to the Championship and Powell is happy with his team's preparation for the games.
He added: "Like most teams we have to be very careful of how training goes both psychologically and mentally.
"Training has been good, but we have not been training too hard.
"We are just making sure we get the preparation right in regards to the opposition but also building on the aspects that have been working for us.
"Everyone is fit now and with 25 players training, they are all in a good place.
“Confidence is good and everyone is watching us at the top.
"We have to go out there, earn the points and maintain that winning mentality."
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